The love story of Vietnamese and Western husband and wife who love football

Ho Chi Minh CityKnowing that the 1m92 tall Canadian guy loves football like me, so even though his height is less than one and a half meters, Thuy Nga still believes this is half of her life.

In the rented apartment in Thu Duc, the Ivorian couple’s favorite corner of the bedroom is the pictures taken of them on Saigon Street after the important matches of the Vietnamese team, on the wall is a tiny national flag and banners. “Those are Michael’s memories when he first learned about the football atmosphere in Vietnam. He said that he has never seen people so crazy about football anywhere,” explained Nga, 32 years old.

They started chatting on a dating app in 2018. Ivory claims to be just looking for a serious relationship. A few days later, Michael texted her a very long page, introducing himself, starting with a list of personal interests: love football, swimming, playing the guitar, and drawing.

“I feel like he’s talking about his hobbies. I’m a fan of the English Premier League, can stay up all night watching my favorite team, the Euro tournaments, the World Cup won’t miss a single match”, the house said. fashion design, say.

Lucas and Thuy Nga joined the storm after Vietnam won the SEA Games 30, 2019. Character photos provided

Michael and Thuy Nga joined the storm after Vietnam won the SEA Games 30, 2019. Photo provided by the character

And Michael liked Ivory right from the moment he saw the photo. “She has Asian-style black hair, light-colored eyebrows and lovely small eyes,” he said.

Because of the same interest, Nga sent a new guy a link to watch the final match between Vietnam and Uzbekistan in the final round of the U23 Asian Cup at the end of January 2018. Thirteen hours apart, but they discussed the whole game. Michael praised “Quang Hai is short but kicks well”. The Vietnamese girl took advantage of the opportunity to introduce herself, having played many matches for the high school team. Michael said he was the goalkeeper of the soccer team and the owner of the basketball team at the school.

From the football story, they easily redirected their life story. Video calls connecting the two sides of the ocean are getting longer and longer. Michael confided about his childhood lack of love when his parents divorced. Nga shared with him about a large but warm family, everyone loves their football. “I want to go to Vietnam to mingle with your family,” Michael said.

One day a Canadian boy confessed to a Vietnamese girl. “Quick and decisive like Quang Hai’s shot,” Nga laughed. With her consent, Michael transferred money to Ivory to rent a room for himself.

Four months later, he flew to Vietnam. Being close is an opportunity for Ivory and Michael to better understand their love for each other. At this time, not only football, many other things make them “drunk” with each other.

“He lives with a plan, always calculates everything in advance,” Nga commented. Before flying over, Michael applied to be an English teacher in Saigon. What I appreciate most is that her boyfriend accepts to sacrifice his freedom and comfortable living conditions in his hometown to come to her.

In the city, Nga lives in a 15 m2 motel room with a loft. The height of 1m92, weighs more than 80kg, so every time he visits his girlfriend, the Canadian guy also has a scratch on his forehead because of the door. The room was cramped and hot, but Michael volunteered to wash the dishes every day. He closed the toilet lid as a seat, panicking because his knees touched his face. When he arrived decently, but when he returned, the back of his shirt was soaked with sweat.

“Michael loves animals, sometimes like a child. In the motel room, he made friends with a lizard, a few ants and even saved food for them,” the girl said.

Michael feels “both respect and love” when his girlfriend cooks something delicious and also gives a part to protect the hostel. In the role of fashion designer, the little girl can make any sophisticated products ordered by customers.

After work, they often ride motorbikes around Saigon, go to the street to watch football or go to a football cafe. At the end of 2019, Vietnam won the Seagame championship after 30 years of waiting, the young couple joined the stormy crowd on the street, and did not return after midnight. For the first time, Michael saw the scene where the fans brought pots, pans, and buckets to the street to celebrate like here.

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Thuy Nga and her husband took souvenir photos during an outing in Phu Quoc on the occasion of her birthday in 2019. Photo provided by the character

Covid-19 broke out, could not go out, they stayed at home to watch football. During the World Cup season, Thuy Nga cheered for England, Belgium and Denmark, and Michael supported the team with a small population. “The country is small, the people are few, but the victory is good,” he told his girlfriend.

The guy who loves geography should understand the characteristics of each country participating in the World Cup… Every match he works as a private commentator for his girlfriend. But about football rules, Nga is more familiar, so sometimes she has to watch her explain so that he can understand.

Wanting to be friends to watch each other’s football for life, the young couple plan to hold a wedding in Phu Yen, Ivory countryside. But the Covid-19 epidemic broke out, so they only registered their marriage.

Lucas and his wife (second from left) go to graves during Tet

Michael and his wife (second from left) visit graves during Tet 2020. Photo provided by the character

Hong Hoa, 65 years old, Nga’s mother said that when her sixth daughter said she would marry a foreign husband, the whole family worried that she would be cheated. When Michael returned to debut, that worry gradually disappeared. “He’s big, but he’s like a child, gentle and likable,” commented the mother.

Returning to his wife’s hometown, the young couple’s hobby is to invite their grandchildren to play football, hide and seek in the yard. Many meals were too intense, Tay’s brother-in-law ran wildly and then fell to the ground, making fun of the children.

Back in the rented apartment in Saigon, the couple grew vegetables and flowers on the terrace to create their own green space. Michael is working with his wife to earn enough money to build a small house in the countryside bordering the mountains. There, there is a lake for the whole family to row a boat, there is a soccer field, a shuttlecock, and there is a way to climb mountains.

“I also wish to watch all the matches of the Vietnamese team live in every stadium. I promised my wife that I would work with her to make the dream come true,” Michael said.

Pham Nga

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